Southern Co-op is removing all single-use carrier bags and plastic bags for life from sale in its 200 stores.
Plastic bags for life are being replaced by durable fold away bags and large shoppers with a current price of £1 to encourage customers to reuse them instead of treating them as single-use. The switch has already taken place in many stores with other changeovers taking place over the next month or so as stores work through the remaining stock of existing bags.
It is hoped the move will convince shoppers to switch to reusable bags to help tackle climate change.
Southern Co-op will be making compostable carrier bags available for 10p which are a more environmentally responsible choice and have a secondary use as a food waste caddy liner in the home. The bags are certified compostable and can be collected as part of Local Authority household food waste collections or are suitable for use in home compost bins.
The co-operative is also working towards its science-based targets to cut direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from its business by 2030, supported by a climate action pathway of planned activity and an initial investment of £5.8m.
Gemma Lacey, director for sustainability and communications at Southern Co-op, said: “For years we have been asking our customers and members to bring bags with them so this is naturally the next step - removing the option of buying single use plastic bags or using a plastic bag for life as the next cheapest alternative.
“We have a duty to act against climate change and to give our customers a way to be more environmentally responsible. However, as our stores are based on convenience, we understand that people might not be carrying a bag with them, so the compostable bag is a more responsible alternative to plastic.”
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